Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Short Story--The Eye

Happy Halloween! I have a new short story called "The Eye" in the Halloween special of the audio magazine, Dark Movements. You get six great stories in the episode. Check it out here.
(EDIT: Unfortunately, the audio magazine is on longer online. Please enjoy the story below.)

If you'd like to follow along with my story while you listen, here it is:

The Eye
by Eric J. Krause

The eye in the window across the street stared at him. He considered that it might be a poster or picture of some sort, but that wasn't it. He could swear he'd seen it move.

What did it want? Why was it targeting him? And why could no one else see it?

His wife refused to discuss it anymore. The neighbors crossed the street when they saw him coming. Even the mailman rushed to and from the mailbox a bit quicker. All because the eye wouldn't show itself to anyone else.

So now he sat at the window, all hours of the day, and looked at the eye. Which stared back at him. All day every day.

No matter how long he sat there, nothing became clearer. It was still a mystery he couldn't explain. And he needed to know.

Late one night, long after his wife had gone up to bed, he decided it was time. Sure, he could have waited until mid-morning and knocked on the door. He had no clue who lived there, so maybe there was a simple explanation. Yeah, he could do that. But he wasn't going to.

He grabbed the sharpest, meanest-looking knife from the chopping block and headed across the street. He might not need it, or anything of the sort, but better safe than sorry. Maybe the eye would see him coming and hide. Then he really could come back in the morning.

No. It watched him the entire way. Little movements in its iris let him know it saw him. How did no one else notice this thing? It pulsed with life.

Knock or not? He could peek in each window and see what was going on. Maybe he'd find one open, and he could sneak in without anyone any the wiser. Before the decision proved necessary, the front door creaked open a crack.

"Hello?" he called. No answer. He pushed the door open all the way. Damn it was dark in there. "Hello?" he tried again. He almost asked if there were any giant eyeballs home, but that would be absurd. He giggled, and it bordered on deranged, even in his own mind.

Since no one answered, he walked in. Maybe no one lived here at all. He couldn't remember a moving van after that last family (The Joneses? The Smiths?) moved out. He gripped his knife tighter and looked around for the giant eye, though he could barely see past his nose.

The door slammed shut. Something breathed. He could hear it, feel it. He moaned as it slithered past his leg.

And then the pain hit.


The neighbors gathered around outside her house. The police had already left, finding no signs of foul play. Her husband, though, was still a no show. They'd all heard his muffled screams, but no one could quite place where.

With his unhealthy obsession with that abandoned house, she figured he'd be inside, but they'd found no sign of him. He'd be back, and then she'd get him whatever help he needed.

As the talks wound down and neighbors began to disperse, she gave one last look back to that house. She gasped. Had that window winked at her?